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The Value of Getting Out of Town

In an earlier post, I advised readers to plan for their summer vacations.  There is a tremendous value both physical and mental for taking time off.

Now that summer is here, and I hope you have scheduled your time off, I want to push you out of the Northern Virginia nest. It’s easy to want to plan a “stay-cation.” Northern Virginia has many regional treasures and monuments, historic battlefields, great nature trails, and fabulous panoramic views of the Potomac.

However, getting away from work should mean getting away from the stressors of life in this region!

Every day we deal with it – the constant political and economic chatter. We get it from the person sitting next to us at work, on the news, at the PX, at our kids’ soccer games even!  “Is the government going to shut down?”  “I’m a contractor.  Is my employer going to win that recompete?”  Some work on the Hill – that comes with its own set of headaches!

Because of where we live, we hear more and know more than we probably want to! As Dr. Seuss’ Grinch says, “all of the noise, noise, noise, NOISE!”

Many advocate the value of a ‘stay-cation’.  It’s easy and cost-effective. But this year, if you are able, get out of town and away from the chatter.

The Benefits Of Vacation And Travel

According to a 2016 report from Project: Time Off, an initiative of the U.S. Travel Association, estimates that an incredible 659 million vacation days went unused in 2015.  That’s 1.8 million years. I won’t even begin to calculate the salaries.

  • Travel keeps you healthier. Another study showed that women who vacation at least twice a year have a much lower risk of having a heart attack as compared to those who only travel every six years or so. For men who don’t take a vacation, the study showed a 20 percent higher risk of death and a 30 percent greater risk of heart disease.
  • Vacation helps with your mood. When vacationing at least twice a year, women are less likely to suffer from depression and chronic stress than those who take time away less than once every two years.
  • Escaping town helps with our relationships. Spending time away from this area will allow us to have time away from work, the smart phone, and the work-obsession environment that we inhabit.  It’ll give us time to truly reconnect with those closest to us.
  • Dedicating time to a vacation helps improve our self-esteem. By putting our mental health first and committing to our vacation days, it tells us that we are important and worthy of that time away!
  • Vacations boost creativity. New stimuli including faces, places, tastes, smells, experiences, can help bring about new creative ideas!  Being able to develop new avenues to tap into your creativity can help as you work through challenges back at the office or at home.

Leaving the region will help you leave the chatter behind.  Set your email and voice mail to an away message and leave the noise behind.  Save the stay-cation spots for when friends and relatives come into town, for when they are escaping their own chatter-filled regions.


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